We took our time on the tip of the summit, taking lots of photos and having lots of laughs. I think when you complete an exposed climb like this, there is something psychological about the summit that makes mountaineering become more than a sport or hobby, but as something one cannot live without. I had experienced an even greater relief and stronger positive energy at the summit of Komsomol Peak the summer before after free-soloing the Northwest Face, but this feeling is exponentially increased when the experience is shared with partners, perhaps because other people have overcome the same fears and obstacles, and they too have the electric feeling that only a hard-earned summit in difficult circumstances can provide.
The climb and descent were great, but the thing that blew me away about this climb was the views from the top. This was the furthest I have ventured into the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan, and they only get bigger and better the further south I have gone. The pictures hardly give the views justice.
(Note to the Reader: I know my blog posts in the past have been all about the pictures, but to really get the full experience of this trip make sure to read the long stories I have written. It was the things that I couldn't take a picture of on this trip that make it … Continue reading King of the Nordic Twilight